As Sam Elliott famously opined in his opening soliloquy to the Coen Brothers' The Big Lebowski,
"Sometimes there's a man... I won't say a hero, 'cause what's a hero? Sometimes, there's a man, well, he's the man for his time and place. He fits right in there."
We aren't here to talk about heroes. Just a couple of men.
The perfect men for their time and place.
Let's recap what fullback R.J. "The Dude" Allen and midfielder Ned "El Duderino" Grabavoy have done to enhance their respective statures over the last month:
- Grabavoy has started four consecutive games for the first time since June, while Allen has started four straight for the first time in his MLS career.
- In the
2-12-0 win against Toronto on September 16th, Allen provided the winning assist and turned in a match rating of 8.8 according to WhoScored.com, making him their man of the match.
- On the way to a
2-03-2 home victory against San Jose just three days later, Grabavoy scored twice -- his first two in the NYCFC shirt --- and was WhoScored's man of the match for the home team, notching a healthy 8.6 rating.
- On Saturday night on the road at Vancouver, Allen took 60 touches, nine more than any other NYCFC defender. He and Grabavoy recovered possession a combined fifteen times, only giving up the ball twice. Grabavoy led all players with four aerial duels, with Allen right behind him with three.
- These two Dudes are tough.
- These two Dudes care.
The team sheet.
- Over the last two weeks Lucky Ned was nominated for MLS Goal of the Week, and Allen was named to his second MLS Team of the Week. Second!
- Among NYCFC players with more than 500 minutes played, Allen leads the team in successful tackles per 90 minutes (4.1). No teammate averages more than 2.6!
- Grabavoy (56) trails only the indomitable Andrew Jacobson among NYCFC midfielders for most clearances + blocks + interceptions on the year. Yep, he's ahead of Mix Diskerud, Kwadwo Poku, and McNamara.
- At 6.5 per ninety minutes, Allen leads all non-center backs on the squad in clearances + blocks + interceptions.